May Day

Ministers pay tribute to healthcare, essential workers

Migrant workers also lauded; PM Lee urges people to send them messages of support

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo wishing foreign workers a happy May Day in a Facebook video post. Healthcare workers at Westlite Papan dormitory on April 21. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and his colleagues outlined plans to better house migrant worke
Healthcare workers at Westlite Papan dormitory on April 21. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and his colleagues outlined plans to better house migrant workers, including temporarily rehousing some of them, to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has disproportionately affected those in large dormitories. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo wishing foreign workers a happy May Day in a Facebook video post. Healthcare workers at Westlite Papan dormitory on April 21. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and his colleagues outlined plans to better house migrant worke
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo wishing foreign workers a happy May Day in a Facebook video post. PHOTO: JOSEPHINE TEO/FACEBOOK
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo wishing foreign workers a happy May Day in a Facebook video post. Healthcare workers at Westlite Papan dormitory on April 21. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and his colleagues outlined plans to better house migrant worke
PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, on the migrant workers' plight.

Members of the multi-ministry task force tackling the coronavirus outbreak here paid tribute to the workforce here, in particular the healthcare workers, essential workers and migrant workers, during a press conference yesterday.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs the task force with National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, wished all workers a healthy May Day, especially the healthcare workers.

"Despite the holiday, many of them, in fact, most of them, are still working in our healthcare institutions to take care of our patients.

"I want to thank them for their dedication and their commitment," said Mr Gan.

He and his colleagues outlined plans to better house migrant workers, including temporarily rehousing some of them, to contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19, which has disproportionately affected those in large dormitories.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in turn thanked the workers in various sectors who have adjusted to the circuit breaker measures.

"In particular, we also want to thank the migrant workers, particularly those who are living in the dormitories.

"Many more precautions have been implemented to safeguard their health and they have been cooperative," she said.

"They understand the necessity of these precautions, and we very much appreciate them working together with the officers on the ground to ensure that these measures are properly adhered to."

Mr Wong noted that Singapore is marking Labour Day this year under very different circumstances, but said it was an occasion "where we can once again acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of all our workers".

He singled out the front-line workers, especially those in the healthcare sector working hard to care for all the patients.

Mr Wong also acknowledged the contributions of those in the essential workforce such as members of the media, those who do cleaning work, facilities management, work related to the running of the power or water supply, those who ensure food supplies remain intact, and others who provide essential services.

"We truly appreciate all of our essential workers during this time and, in particular, we appreciate the contributions of all our migrant workers. And that's why, as you heard just now from (Mrs Teo), we are mounting an all-out effort to ensure that we take care of their well-being during this period."

In a Facebook post last night, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted it is a difficult time for migrant workers, with the majority in isolation, and quite a few still working to keep essential services going.

He invited people to send WhatsApp messages of support to Love Translated, a community effort that translates messages and sends them on to migrant workers in their languages, and noted that many are pitching in to help these workers.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2020, with the headline Ministers pay tribute to healthcare, essential workers. Subscribe